The former Tory politician is being investigated by detectives leading Operation Fernbridge, which is investigating claims that political figures and others sexually abused boys at various locations in England.
There have already been two arrests: a former care-home boss, and a Roman Catholic priest.
Scotland Yard said that the charges related to seven victims aged between nine and 15, with the alleged offences dating back to the 1970s and 1980s. A third, unnamed man was interviewed but later released with no further action taken.
The former minister is believed to be the highest-profile target of Operation Fernbridge detectives.
One source said last night: "The police do not care how important or high profile they are - these people will not be getting away with it any longer."